birding in uganda

Explore Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Much as bigodi wetland has always been a complementary to chimpanzee trekking in kibale forest national park, the site is much more than a swamp. Located just 6 kilometers from the kanyanchu information center, bigodi wetland sanctuary is a fascinating area sheltering over 200 bird species and various primates and mammals all which make a visit there surely interesting. The wetland is a community-based project managed by the kibale association for rural and environmental development (Kafred). Its from a Rutooro word “Kugodya” which means walking in a tired way. From the records, all people on reaching this place would appear exhausted and could not walk any further so had to first rest there before continuing. Travelers, researchers students and conservationists visit the swamp for various purposes.

KAFRED that is in charge of the wetland sanctuary is a community-based organization that supports eco-tourism enterprises objectively to ensure that local communities benefit from tourism. Among the unique features that make Bigodi wetland sanctuary a place to visit include:

Wildlife Viewing (primates, mammals, reptiles and amphibians)
wildlife in Bigodi wetlandThe wetland is not just a swamp but also a home to a variety of wild animals both primates and mammals. These include black and white Colubus monkeys, Red Colubus monkey, Blue monkeys, Baboons, Mangabey, Grey cheeked, Red tailed monkeys, L’Hoest monkey, Vervet monkeys, otters, push pigs, chimpanzees, sitatungas, mongooses and bush bucks among others. Visitors to Bigodi wetland follow various trails in the swamp led by experienced guides who help in spotting various animals. For safety, visitors are reminded to tuck their trousers into the stockings to prevent bites from termites such as red aunts.

Bird watching
Sheltering over 200 bird species 6 of which are endemic to the area, Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a paradise for birders.
Blue turaco in bigodi
The great Blu Turaco also known as a loyal lover is one of the unique birds with an intriguing story. The bird is believed to remain single for life after the loss of a loved one. The other birds residing in the wetland include purple breasted sunbird, African pitta, Abyssinian ground thrush, Collared Apalis, Black capped apalis, Crowned eagle, Green breasted pitta, Kingfishers, Weavers, Cuckoos, Hornbills, Papyrus Gonoleks, Flycatchers, Black bee eater, Little greenbul, Brown chested alethe, Blue breasted kingfisher, Yellow rumpled tinker bird, Dusky crimson wing, Black bishop, Western nictor, Spotted bardet, Brown throated wattle eye, white-spotted fluff tail, weaver birds and purple breasted sunbird. Birding is well done in guided forest walks led by experienced guides who help to spot birds and provide detailed information about each spotted bird.

Community visits
After touring the swamp, visitors always connect to the neighboring communities and visit various community projects all-originating from the wetland sanctuary. Among the visited groups of people include the Bigodi women group that consists of 40 members. These people make crafts such as beads, baskets, bags, and mats most of which are exported to Europe. Interestingly, the former poachers in Bigodi swamp and the entire kibale national park are the present guides who greatly support tourism and conservation in the area.
craft materials

Additionally, visitors transfer to Bigodi secondary schools, which was established and fully sponsored by the Bigodi wetland sanctuary project. The wetland projects have helped local communities providing them with various employments, which include water projects, health, resolving funds, health, should, sponsorship to church among others. This earns income to the local people hence improving their standards of living.
Conclusively therefore, a visit to Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a lifetime experience. All travelers should visit the wetland to promote conservation and tourism in the area.